Imagine a world where a writer/director combined Taxi Driver, Leon the Professional , and Falling Down all in one movie!
The movie: God Bless America (available on DVD and Blu-Ray this past tuesday, June 5). The man: Bobcat Goldthwait, yes, the same Bobcat from the Police Academy movies and One Crazy Summer. He’s teamed up with friend Joel Murray, younger brother of Bill Murray, and he is pretty damn fantastic. Bill better watch the hell out, Joel is creeping up on his indie cred. Joel and Bobcat have worked together on a couple of my favorites; One Crazy Summer, Scrooged, and Shakes the Clown (starring, written, and directed by Bobcat).
Joel plays Frank, who has one bad day after another and instead of killing himself he decides to rid the world of all the stupid jerks. Fired unjustly from his job, an unwanted father, and diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, he sets out to find his first victim, a little cunt of a spoiled teenager living in Virginia Beach he sees being an awful, selfish bitch on one of those Sweet 16 Shows on MTV. That’s where he meets Roxy (Tara Lynn Barre, in her first major film role) and they team up in this angst-filled roller coaster ride to make the world… nicer. That’s all that Frank wants, everyone to be nice to each other… that’s not too much to ask. It’s something I’d hope everyone would want, but every scene is a page out of everyone’s life.
People at work discussing unimportant TV that’s deadening our minds, a seemingly innocent act turning into fatal wounding of our lifestyle, when the going gets worse… it seems to keep rolling downhill, all things we can all relate to whether we are the hunter or the prey. The hunters in the audience have a visual pipe dream they can live out every time life becomes too much and the prey can maybe become better people, look at life differently, and want to become less miserable, maybe a little nicer to their fellow human beings. Again, pipe dreams, as our world gets closer to looking like this.
So if you’re looking for a refreshing satire of how horrible, inconsiderate, mean-spirited, and self-absorbed the American people have become, this is your opus, Mr. Holland style. This film is definitely re-watchable, especially after the anger I feel for humanity after watching the Mumia Abu-Jamal documentary “In Prison my Whole Life” (available on Netflix instant). Never lose sight of what’s important. As always, thanks for stopping by and reading.